What “Reality” Do You Live In? (Article)

All our lives, we have been trained on what so-called “normal“ reactions are to various circumstances. Through TV, family, friends, and even by the impulses of our own unrenewed mind, we have been trained on what “normal” is.

If you were to be present on a plane that was going down, what would a normal, understandable reaction be? In the case of a loved one that has died, what is a normal, understandable reaction? And if someone gives you “bad news,” what is a normal, understandable reaction? This world has trained us in our past as to what a normal reaction is. And if we don’t react that way, people will assume there’s something wrong with you. We even have medical terms for you if you don’t react to circumstances the way that everyone else does. But let me tell you, regardless of what people may label you, you belong to a different country, and you play by different rules now. Whenever you start grasping that, it will be impossible for you to react to circumstances the same way.

Jesus And His Disciples

Imagine that you are in a plane. It takes off smoothly, but then you hit a bit of turbulence. Shortly after that, the plane begins going down. What is a normal reaction? Well, let’s read about when Jesus and His disciples were in a sinking ship:

Mark 4:37-40 (NKJV) And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He [Jesus] was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

It’s clear that the disciples and Jesus had completely opposite reactions. Both thought that their reactions were perfectly reasonable and understandable. Both saw the other one as being crazy. The disciples thought Jesus was crazy for being so calm while the ship was sinking. And Jesus thought His disciples were crazy for fearing something as small as a sinking ship. But how could they react so differently? Because in their mind, they were living in two different realities.

To the mind of the disciples, they were living in a false reality in which they were at the mercy of the storm and the waves. In their false, imaginary reality, they had no authority over anything that was going on. In their false reality, when bad weather happens, ships sink. And when ships sink the crew dies. In their false reality, there was no redemption from the hurt and destruction in this world. In their false reality, they were just men, and the storm was stronger. If that reality were true, then their fear would make sense. And because they thought that their version of reality was true, they felt that their fear was perfectly justified. After all, if all the above were true, wouldn’t you be afraid as well?

On the other hand, Jesus had the opposite reaction. He was so calm and peaceful that He was sleeping through the storm. Jesus did not react so calmly because He was so brave. Bravery is a kind of courage you have when you’re up against big obstacles. Jesus wasn’t being brave. He just didn’t think the storm was a big deal. In His mind there is nothing to be brave about. 

In Jesus’ true reality, He had complete and total authority over the winds and the waves. In His true reality, He was not at the mercy of the sea, but the sea was at His mercy. In His true reality, He had safety from hurt and destruction from the Father. In His true reality, He had all mighty power that created this universe, living inside of Him, and complete access to it at all times. Because His mind was living in this true reality, fear doesn’t make any sense. If anyone truly believed in this reality, they would’ve reacted the same way. Jesus’ reaction wasn’t extraordinary in the least. He simply reacted naturally for someone in His position. He reacted completely normal for someone in His shoes. Jesus’ mind lived in this reality and therefore, He reacted accordingly.

The reason why the disciples thought Jesus was crazy for sleeping in a storm, and Jesus knew that His disciples were crazy for fearing such a small thing, is because their minds were living in two completely different realities. They simply reacted accordingly with what they saw in the circumstance. 

Jesus And The Mourners

What is a normal reaction when a loved one dies? Well, that depends on what reality you live in. Look at how Jesus reacted in contrast with the mourners at this funeral:

Luke 8:52-53 (NKJV) Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.

Jesus tells the people at the funeral that the girl isn’t dead the way that they think, she’s just unconscious and can be woken up easily. The mourners laughed at Him and ridiculed Him for this reaction. And why? Because their minds lived in two different realities.

In the false reality that those mourners were living in, everybody dies. In their false reality, when people die, they don’t get back up again. In their false reality, this is a natural thing that has taken its course, and we should merely respect the life that they have already lived. In their false reality, it is disrespectful of Jesus to come in, making these grand claims while people are trying to mourn their “loss.“ If that false reality were true, then their mourning would make perfect sense. The problem is, it’s not true.

In Jesus’ true version of reality, death is as easy to heal as the sniffles. In Jesus’ true reality, people can die and get up just like they can take a nap and get up. In Jesus’ true reality, He has the life of God in Him and has the full authority to share it with whom He chooses. In Jesus’ true reality, it is not disrespectful to state the truth at a funeral. In His true reality, it is rather disrespectful and eternally hurtful, to disbelieve the power of God and leave the poor girl dead. In Jesus’ true reality, nobody has to die, and all the dead can live. And because He knew that this reality was true, all the weeping and mourning over this girl (that was about to be awake again) was just commotion and idle babbling to Him. It made no sense. Just like Jesus’ reaction made no sense to the mourners. And why? Because in their minds, they were living in two different realities.

So, the problem is not even the fear itself. Fear comes from wrong thinking (1 John 4:18). If our minds are living in a false reality we will feel, along with the rest of the world, that fear, worry, and sorrow are perfectly justified in many circumstances. So much so, we will look down upon anyone who does not react with these emotions. We will ridicule those that do not mourn at funerals, do not fear calamity, or do not worry about the future. Because after all, in our reality these are normal and understandable. In our reality, fear just makes sense. And in our reality, anyone who does not react with these emotions must be crazy. 

But when you step out of the mindset of this world, and realize what you have in Christ, suddenly, the world’s reactions to circumstances starts sounding crazy. When you realize that you are just like Jesus is right now, in all His glory, your reactions start looking more and more like His. You look at a sinking ship and think, “The weather is at my mercy.” You look at mourners at a funeral and think, “She’s just sleeping.“ You look at yourself, surrounded by an army and say, “There’s more on my side, then on theirs.“ You look at a boy that just died falling out of a window, and instead of gasping for air, you run down and hug him, and welcome him back into the house (2 Kings 6:16, Acts 20:10).

You react the way you do to circumstances based on how your mind is trained — based on what version of reality your mind is living in. It’s based on what you believe about Jesus and about this world. It’s not a matter of trying to change your emotions or your reactions. You will always react in accordance with what you see. If you see the world through the true lens of what Jesus has done, you will react accordingly. If you see this world falsely, as if you are a part of it as a mere man, you will react accordingly. You cannot change your reaction, without changing what you see.

To those that are earthly minded, the heavenly minded seem crazy. To the earthly minded, you’re crazy for not treating circumstances as a big deal. But to the heavenly minded — to those who realize that Jesus defeated it all — we look at the earth and know that they are the ones who are truly crazy, for thinking that anything in this world is an actual problem anymore.

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